Pathophysiology of sciatica

Orthop Clin North Am. 1991 Apr;22(2):223-34.


The exact pathophysiologic mechanisms behind sciatica are incompletely known; however, compression of spinal nerve roots is known to be correlated to both pain and neural dysfunction in a segmental distribution of that specific nerve root. Compression per se may impair the transport of nutrients to the nerve tissue in such a way that affects the nerve root function. There also might be a local affect on nerve roots or root sleeves by substances leaking from the degenerated intervertebral discs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Sciatica / pathology
  • Sciatica / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / blood supply
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / injuries
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / pathology
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / physiopathology*